A Different World (1987–1993): Season 5, Episode 6 - Rule Number One - full transcript

Lena falls for her teacher Dwayne. Ron tries reselling defective cosmetics from a TV ad.

Morning, homes.


"Be a queen
or just look like one"?

Partner, is there something
I should know here?

Peep this.

My card.

"Beauty by Ron.

Ron Johnson,
official cosmetologist"?

Your father would be so proud.

Of my keen business sense.

Where did you get this stuff?

Midnight, channel 9...

"build your own empire
for $99.95."

What woman would buy
beauty products

from an ugly son of a gun
like you?

If there's one thing
women will waste their money on

it's vanity.

Hey, you got anything in there
for whitley's moustache?


Advertise your product or brand here
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You wanted to see me?

Oh, yes, I'm concerned
about your quiz scores.

They'd be a little higher
if you gave me partial credit.

Not really,
you're averaging a "d."

I know. I'm going to fix it.

Are you finding the work
too difficult?

- No.
- No?

Actually, I ain't
finding it at all.

I mean, this class

doesn't exactly pick up
where my high school left off.

I'm here to bridge the gap.

Enough to give me
partial credit?

Enough for free tutoring
starting tonight.


The sixers are playing
the hawks.

Oh, that's right.
Big game.

Yeah, barkley, Dominique?

We can't miss that.

That's what I'm saying.

So we'll do this another night.

Oh no, I'll tape the game.

You're going to tape the game.

So by changing the quality
of education

in the community, x,
you change the factors, y

that are the functions
of education

in said community.

There you go.

What is the principle of that?

Chain rule, my brother.

It's cool how calculus
relates to real life.

I knew you'd get it
with a little confidence

and a lot of concentration.

Yeah, three hours' worth.



Why aren't you ever
this cool in class?

With your questions
and only 50 minutes

I don't have time to be cool.

You go into a phone booth
and switch up on us.

Yeah, I switch up on you.

Uh-oh. Uh-oh.
Not bad form for a girl.

For a girl?

Boy please, in b-more, I took
fellows to the hoop 24-7.

Look at this.


I really miss my homeboys.

They're not like
these self-centered

pampered hillman brothers

all self-involved,
afraid to sweat.

Well, not me.

And the hillman woman?

Sometimes I feel like
I'm in a foreign country.


Can't relate to my teachers,
the students or whitley.

Oh, I hear you.

You couldn't relate
to your teachers or students?

Nope, just whitley.

You shoot like piccolo.


That was my man
before I came to hillman.

You went with a man
named piccolo?

Yes, I did

and he never could play ball.

Insulting my game

is not going to get you
this partial credit you want.

I'll take you
to the racks for it.

You and what pair
of platform shoes, munchkin?

Don't make me hurt
your feelings, girl.

Watch this... three-pointer.

Nice and strong. Hah!

If you could get

your calculus together
like you got your jump shot...

I'm working on it.

Oh, yeah?
Well, work on this.

Oh, yeah.


I never dunked on a girl before.

That felt good.

Never happen again.

You don't think so?

Prepare to lick my kicks,

You know that is wrong!

That is a...


Can I be next?

Cold cream, my sisters?

Honey, you a day late
and always too short.

How unfortunate,
because my products

contain emollients
that would render

even a rhino's skin
supple to the touch

and you do look a little ashy.

You touch me
with that cold cream

and you draw back a nub.

Get down, Fifi.

I'll just peddle my goods

Where are you going,
little missy?

Uh... tutoring session
with Dwayne.

Mr. Wayne, you mean?

Well, he asked me
to call him that.

He's so... Open
with his tutees.

I guess he's trying
to make you feel at ease.

And he's definitely helping me

improve my math skills.

See you.

Whitley, my Princess.

Let me...

If you don't want to leave here

wearing that suitcase

I suggest you keep on stepping.

Damn. Rough room.

Who left their gum on my desk?

Kim, whatever happened
to supporting black business?

Nobody's buying my products.

I mean, why should they?

You can buy that junk
in a drugstore

and I am so tired
of these products

that aren't designed for us.

So you're saying that cosmetic
companies have neglected

the nubian-African-cafe-au-lait-
to-Espresso spectrum

which is the black woman?

Just say no, Ron.

You're going to love this.

You are going to love it.

This looks like the same
stuff you pushed yesterday.

Oh, looks can be deceiving.

Upon more careful observation

you will find
nutrients of the nile

featuring latifah lotion

Nigerian night cream

and Ethiopian exfoliant...

All designed with
the nubian Princess in mind.

You might have something.

You think they'll buy it?

No. Women want products
that they can recognize...

I mean,
cosmetics they can trust.

You mean like they trust
Kimberly Reese.

No, you're not getting me
into this.

No, no, no.

I hear med school's
very expensive these days.

I want 30%.

Ok. That's what I thought.

Well, if it isn't
the African avon lady.

You won't be laughing

when my cosmetics firm
buys it's own record label.

You've been sniffing
your nail Polish.

Actually, I've been using it
to remove the old labels

and apply my own
and then, wham...

Instant African emollients.

Sick, but slick.

And about to be rich.

Here comes your new tutee

and toting vittles no less.

Hi, d.

I made this for you.

Your favorite... prune cobbler.

Whoa, she cooks
and she plays ball too.

This is a woman of many talents.

Garcon, I hate
that prune cobbler.

Fetch me some of that peach pie.

It's $2.50 a slice
and it don't walk.

- Hi, pookie.
- Now what kind of service is this?

Don't you have
some suds to bust?

What's up, baby?

Don't be late tonight.

I made your favorite pasta.

Man, you got women
feeding you left and right.

Can you make room for three?

I'm tutoring Lena.

Again? How dumb is she?


But, t, listen.

He made the first move, t.

Lena, Dwayne's engaged.

He invited me to his place.

Well, discussing integrals
isn't exactly foreplay.

But you see,
we don't just talk about math

we talk about life.

Dwayne's like that
with everybody.

What do you know?

You're too young
to understand anyway.

I know she wasn't talking
about me.

Ladies, I have a confession
to make.

Well, honey, save that
for your priest, okay?

Oh, no.

This is too scandalous
for the clergy.

As I survey this crowd,
I'm disheartened by what I see.

What makes you think
our view is any better?

Ah, a woman whose humor
and looks

are neck-and-neck
for last place.

Now, as I was saying

society has overlooked
the allure

of the African-American sister.

All right.

Say that, brother.

Basically, while men adore you

cosmetic companies have
ignored you, but no more.

In ancient times

Egyptian sisters
beautified themselves

with the secrets
from the motherland.

Today, modern technology
captures those secrets

in nutrients of the nile.

Yes, that's
nutrients of the nile

featuring the amazing and
ever-popular mummification mask

used by king tutankhamen himself

and the brother
looked pretty good

when they unwrapped him too.

Imagine what the process
can do for you.

Let's have a look.

Kimberly Reese

how do you feel after
the mummification process?

Like a que...

Like a queen.

As a nubian Princess
of the '90s...

I highly recommend
all the nutrients of the nile.

You heard it here.

Nutrients of the nile.

You can find it
at a Ron Johnson near you.

That's nutrients of the nile.

Get it while it lasts.

Nutrients of the nile
for all of you nubian sisters.

Nutrients of the nile

for what mother Africa
forgot to give you.

Nutrients of the nile...

Can I get some?

Well, yes.

I'm first.

Now, now, there's enough
for everyone.

Dwayne, trust me on this one.

Miss Lena has an unhealthy
attachment to you.

Well here we go again!

You think everybody's
in love with me.

This time I'm right.

You're paranoid.

I've been careful to maintain
a professional decorum

with all of my students.

didn't come to mind

when I saw you two
playing touch football.

That was basketball.

And need I ask where you got
that shredded jacket from?

No, you need just serve me
my food, woman!


Just admit it, Dwayne.

You love all this attention
from your little math tutee.

I'm trying to give the girl
a little confidence...

Show her a little support.

That's not
what she's looking for.

Well, I know what you
looking for, sweet cheeks.

It's me, Lena.

Just called to see
what you were up to.

Probably making up those
questions for the big midterm.

I know I'm ready, thanks to you.

That's right, baby.

Your machine usually
cuts me off by now.

It's probably your voice.

I wrote down a few thoughts
I'd like to share with you.


Whoo, whoo.

Did you get my message?

Yes, I did.


I've asked colonel Taylor
to assign you a new tutor.

Good, so when we hook up

we don't have to worry
about studying.

We can just hang out.

Miss James,
that message you left

on my machine was inappropriate.

I'm your teacher.

When you walk through that door

it's your brain
I'm interested in,

not your body.

So let's pretend this
never happened

so we can get on with our work.

Okay, miss James?

All right.

I can do that.

That will be $20,
and give me a call

when that bust enhancer
kicks in.

Bust enhancer?


You know,
velma's on the flat side.

I'll take two.

This is useless.


Oh, come on.

Don't you see what Ron
is shoving down our throat

is what women have protested
for years...

Sexist male propaganda.

I say we burn our lipstick
and form a united front.

We don't need the oppressor's
Ruby-red Rouge.

Speak for yourself.

I got a man to keep.

Dion says this cold cream
makes my skin feel like silk.

Dion with the jheri curl?

Dwayne, how did it go?

Well, until today

I thought I was
a pretty good teacher, but...

You are, pookie.

You taught me a lot.

Sweetie, this is not
about you for once.

I shouldn't have been
so cold to Lena.

You did her a favor.

I encouraged her
to let her guard down

then threw her an uppercut.

Someone had to knock
some sense into her

but she's tough.

She'll bounce back.

She's not as tough
as you think she is.

It's exactly that kind
of thinking

that got you into this mess.

You just don't understand.

Women are manipulative
and conniving.

And they talk too much.

Well, maybe I'm talking
to the wrong person.

Mr. Gaines, may you
excuse Lena for a second?

Anything over 10 minutes
is off the clock.

Make it snappy.

I'm running a business.

I think maybe the way
I handled things this afternoon

was a little insensitive.

You kicked me to the curb,

No, excuse me,
I mean, Mr. Dwayne.

I think you misinterpreted
our relationship.

No, no, no, no, no.

I think you led me on.

Did I lead you on

or did you see something
you wanted to see?

I got work to do.



Did you hurt her again?

I thought you
were straight with people.

Accepting Lena's cobbler
was one thing

but did you have
to accept that jacket?

Yo, you ever play
my friend like that again

and you'll feel the wrath
of Terrence Johann Taylor.


Yo, yo, hey.

You just remember
what I told you.

Go on. Have a seat.

Welcome to your first
midterm review.


No, thanks.


I'm just going to ask you
a few questions, all right?

How's your freshman year
treating you?

Are you getting along
with your roommates?

They're all right.

Freddie's not trying
to get you to change, is she?

Only in the morning.

Are you eating right?

Getting enough protein?

Think so. Yeah.

You look a little thin.

You might want to add
carbohydrates to that diet.

How's your social life?

Are you going to frat parties
and football games?

Are you dating?

All right, whitley.

I know what you're getting at.

Just come on out and say it.

Say what?

About me tripping on Dwayne?

Oh! Your little crush on Dwayne.


I can't say
that I blame you, Lena.

My Dwayne is irresistible...

But he's your teacher

and you put him
in an awkward position.

Are you lonely?


I miss my father,
my friends in Baltimore...

Your homeys?

Does Dwayne remind you
of a homeboy?

Well, he can play ball

and he was the first person
who really reached out to me.

Even though we are
from vastly different

cultural backgrounds, lifestyles
and upbringings

I, too, was very lonely

my first year here at hillman

and believe it or not...

No one liked me.

I heard about that.

If you were having problems,

why didn't you come to me?

I'm warm.

I'm open.

I'm female.

You are female.

I'm open too.

Come on, you can give me that.

Lena, I didn't feel like
I fit in at all

when I first came here

so I decided I didn't have to

but that was wrong.

As soon as I opened up,
the world was my oyster.

I even got me a man out of it.

The same thing
can happen to you.


A different man, of course.

Of course.

Oh! Ron, I think it's for you.

Well, tell them I'm busy
building my empire.

Ha, ha, hell!


What happened to you?

You and your products, maggot.

I put my reputation and skin
on the line for you.

But, Cleo...

Don't Cleo me!

What did you use?

That damn hepsed hair bleach.

What about you?


Nothing. I'm here
to support my sisters.

Would you look at this?

"These products contain
properties which may cause

discoloration, blotchiness
and random hair growth?!"

Well, who reads labels?

You should have!

I didn't make the products.

I'm just as much of
a victim as you are.

You cough up the money,
you little bloodsucker!

I don't have it.
I spent it.

You hear that?!

Oh, housequake!


Well, I don't think I aced it,
but I at least got a "b."

Without partial credit?

Without partial credit.


Thanks for your help.

Hey, it's my job.


I just want to say sorry
about the way I acted.

I took your friendship
and I just...

Ran with it.

Well, how's your new tutor?

He's all right,
but we don't play much ball.

You got your priorities
straight, huh?

Yes, but I'd still like
to get you on the real court.

Uh, miss James,
I'll see you downstairs?

Oh, yes, I'll be
right there, Mr. Wess.

He's my new tutor.

Study hard.

Oh, I will

and while I work on my calculus

you work on your game.